Not everything you do has "impact," as we define it for this reporting system, nor should it. Impact reports are not activity reports. Organizing a field day is a valuable activity but not one with impact. Impact is the difference your programs make in people's lives or how an issue is addressed to change social, economic, civic or environmental conditions. Typically impact is accomplished through repeated contact with an individual over a period of time using various coordinated educational methods or by addressing an issue using a variety of strategies.
As you think about what you have accomplished in your program, ask yourself these questions:
"As a result of Extension-led training, 800 farmers statewide have adopted sustainable agricultural practices, including integrated pest management, crop rotation for disease control, reduced herbicide rates for crop production, refined nutrient management practices, pre-side dress nitrogen testing, and selection of crops best adapted to soils and growing conditions. These practices have resulted in reduced purchased inputs, saving more than $400,000 in pesticide costs on 28,000 acres." Source: University of Alaska Fairbanks
Impact reporting provides a way to:
An impact report is a brief summary, in ordinary language, of the economic, environmental and social results of our efforts. It states accomplishments and their payoff to society. An impact report answers these questions: So what? And who cares?
Tailor impact reports to the target audience. A good basic impact report can be easily tweaked for use with multiple audiences.